Pavel Kubina Traded to Atlanta; Toronto Signs Mike Komisarek
On the surface, it's a woefully lopsided trade in favor of Atlanta, and nothing more than a salary dump for Toronto.
The plus side? Just moments after the deal was made, word surfaced that defenseman Mike Komisarek had signed with the Maple Leafs.
Komisarek's contract is reportedly a five-year, $22.5 million pact, which is a great deal for the Leafs, and enough to likely infuriate the good folks in Montreal. Perhaps the best "stay-at-home" defenseman on the market, Komisarek brings toughness and size (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) to the Toronto blue line.
So, to recap for the Leafs:
In: Komisarek, Exelby, Orr, Stuart
Out: Kubina, Stapleton
As for the Kubina-to-Atlanta aspect: It's not everyday that we get to say this, but it's a hell of a trade by Don Waddell and the Atlanta Thrashers. To land a legitimate, proven top-four NHL defenseman, while only giving up, essentially, a couple of spare parts/fourth-liners is nothing short of a steal.
The Thrashers' top-four on defense now contains Kubina, Tobias Enstrom, Ron Hainsey and 2008 first-round pick Zach Bogosian. All four players bring plenty of offensive ability to the attack, while it's a considerable improvement from where the team was a year ago at this time.